Gaining first hand experiences of countries other than your own is difficult for key stage 2 students unless they have wealthy parents and regular foreign holidays. Even foreign holidays don’t always give contact with local communities and can be hotel or resort based.
Opwall has a series of field partners around the world who make their living helping with wildlife management. These wildlife experts live in remote communities in countries as far flung as the Pacific islands, South Africa, the Amazon, Mexican forests and the foothills of the Carpathian mountains in Romania and many were originally from the UK. This is an opportunity for key stage 2 children to be able to speak directly to these experts on a livestream feed and ask them questions.
Each session is preceded by a short film where the people who will be online describe the wildlife and some of the environmental challenges they are facing, as well as information about life in rural villages in those countries. The Q and A session can then be used by the children to ask questions directly on global environmental issues and how they affect the study country, how the person being interviewed managed to achieve their job, what it is like living in the study country etc.
The interviews are offered to an entire school and the film about the study country provided in advance so the children can complete some background research into the wildlife, habitats and the study country and its’ people. The dates for the live interviews are pre-arranged and questions can be submitted in advance by students or asked live on the Q and A session.
The costs for the video and live interview from one of the options below is £100 (+VAT) and this entitles ALL students in the school to participate. A copy of the short film and a Zoom invitation for the live chat will be sent to the teacher and they can be circulated to all pupils whether at home or in class in advance. That will enable pupils time to complete some project work on the selected country ahead of the interview.
*Limited Slots Available – All Dates are First-Come First-Served
Join Sara Carlson and Matthew Norman who have exchanged the USA and Leeds respectively to live in a remote village on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji where they run marine surveys on the coral reefs and fish communities in the largest bay in the South Pacific. The film will show footage of some of the marine creatures including dolphins and describes what life is like in a remote South Pacific island village. The main environmental threats affecting the island are deforestation, invasive mongoose and climate change impacts on reefs
Join Dr Gabi Teren who is South African and who lives in Capetown. Gabi works in various game reserves in South Africa and is an expert on elephant behaviour and how to manage large mammal populations. The film will describe some of the main threats to wildlife in South Africa including poaching, and how the populations are managed in large enclosed reserves. Gabi will describe what the life of a wildlife researcher in Africa entails and the culture of the local communities
Join Mo Johnson and Imin in their house on an island in SE Sulawesi in the central part of Indonesia. Mo was originally from Wales and with her Indonesian husband, Imin and children, now runs a diving and marine centre. The film will show everyday life in Indonesia and the spectacular reefs of the Indo Pacific and describe some of the threats to these pristine reefs including over-fishing and bleaching.
Join Dr Richard Bodmer who was originally from Kent but is now based permanently in the upper Amazon region in Peru. Richard runs a series of restored rubber boom boats and wildlife surveys of the Amazon. The film will show some of the species encountered in the Amazon as well as life in a jungle city like Iquitos. Richard will be explain some of the threats facing the Amazon such as climate change affecting water levels and forest clearance for agriculture.
Join Dr Kathy Slater who was originally from London but now lives in the forests of Mexico and works on studying spider monkey behaviour. The film will show some of the species encountered in Mexican forests and describe the threats to this wildlife such as climate change pushing jaguars into conflict with local cattle farmers. Kathy will inspire the children with her many tales of life and wildlife encounters in a Central American forest.
Join Joe England a young English birder now working along with Marian Madalina, a recent Romanian biology graduate who are developing a wildlife research centre in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains. This is an area of Europe that looks like England would have looked around 300 years ago with flower rich meadows and ancient woodlands. The main threat to this spectacular wildlife which includes many Brown Bears is the abandonment of traditional agricultural practices for more intensive management.